GENTRIFY THIS (JUNE 9TH, 2016)
Lately I’ve read a lot of criticism about gentrification and galleries. That is, when the gallery moves in you know that the neighborhood has been gentrified. My goal as a long time resident of North Long Beach/South Compton has been to open a gallery/small press/creative space, etc; if and before my neighborhood becomes “gentrified”. My neighborhood is artistically challenged to say the least, we have zero murals and weak ass graffiti and that’s being kind. What we don’t have is a place for neighborhood children to show case their creations, what we don’t have is a place for people to read poetry, what we don’t have is a place for artists to drop in and give work shops, what we don’t have is a printer so people can submit digital creations and we can hang them on the wall. What we don’t have is a haven for artists to share and for people to learn the value of artistic expression. So when I open my gallery/small press/creative space, etc; I don’t want you to think that my part of North Long Beach/South Compton is becoming “gentrified”. Fuck You I’ve been here, I’m from here, and this gallery/small press/creative space is a culmination of a lot of hard work. And the only the question I have is did you help me, or would you like to.
THE ART OF THE UNKNOWN (May 27th 2016)
I spend hours and hours working on my art and there are times I look at my art and say to myself,’that’s it, that all you’ve got’. I seem to forget how much was there and then taken away as the piece eventually finds itself and stands there present before me, as it should be. However there is always a part of me that thinks I missed something that it could be better because I don’t get enough “likes” or comments on social media. The immediate defense mechanism that I implore is, ‘well they just don’t understand my work’. That’s an easy cop out for any artist to use. I understand that it isn’t about someone understanding your art as much as it is about you loving what you create, and that may be a cliche’ but if you don’t love your art who will. And more often than not if you love something the chances are increased that someone else will as well.